Saturday, 19 January 2013

Fundevogel (The Forester)

In the early designs for the forester, I tried to combine his design with the idea of a Conifer Cone. But as I continued experimenting, nothing really interesting came from this, so i decided to focus more on shape and expression to develop his character. By experimenting with different shapes and proportions I was able to find a design which would create an interesting contrast to the other characters.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Fundevogel (The Cook)

The original "cook" character I designed a while back was too similar to the design of Chef Gusteau (Ratatouille), so I decided to take the design to the silhouette stage and design from scratch.

Cook character design sheet.
At the top left corner you can see the initial silhouette designs. I decided the silhouette I liked best was the tall, creepy silhouette on the right hand side. I felt this design would be the most interesting choice because the shape of the forester is so round and stocky, and the child characters of Fundevogel and Lina are so tiny. Therefore, using this design for the evil character would create a nice range of shape and silhouette within the characters. This contrast of design should enhance the effectiveness of the characters designs.

A Study of Value.

value study. (edited) 
I decided to to a painting with a focus on value. Value is what makes paintings relatable to us. It can allow the artist to trick the eye into thinking it is viewing a 3D object.

I thought the view from inside a train would be a great opportunity. I decided to paint without reference entirely from imagination, to first see how much knowledge of value I already possessed.

(I realise the cheek bone area needs sorted).

I felt the finished piece had a bit of an illustrative feel to it, and so at the end I decided to play around with the "curves" option amongst other variables. And I think the high-contrast/cross-process look I ended up with serves the image well and draws the eye to personality within the face much greater than the un-edited version. (see below)

value study. (original).

Resonance and Consistency in Design.

Visual consistency is something that has been of interest to me recently. I recently purchased The Art of Journey, a wonderfully full book, which clearly shows the visual development of the game, for each segment - (Character, Architecture, Landscapes, and so on...).

The harmonising patterns on the clothes of the game's protagonist, and the designs of the enemies, structures and architecture, all help to the inform the player about the world; It allows you to understand that these beings and structures have all evolved, or came to be, together.

work of Matthew Nava
work of Matthew Nava

As you can see here, Journey's artist, Matthew Nava,  uses pattern as one technique to conform the visual assets of the game. To me this really helped immerse the player in the game world and fully appreciate it's existence.

work of Emrah Elmasli

work of Emrah Elmasli

This concept artwork for "Fable 3" also demonstrates this use of visual style. The designs are so connected that the townspeople almost look like the spawn of the buildings they inhabit.

I think for adaptation this concept could be very useful. You can see the technique demonstrated in books like The Skilful Huntsman - in which design is held paramount within the adaptation.

Because this project is interested on the adaptation of an entire fictional world, I will be researching further into this idea of harmonising visuals to provide a more understood imagined atmosphere.

To kickstart the research I attempted some different designs to consider the harmonising of trees with clouds.

So I'm going to use some of these designs as fundamentals for the visual feel of an environment. Although some of them look too generic to influence an interesting visual style.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Latest Thoughts and Problems. (P-BR)

In visual adaptation from a story, ideally, you want to bring the story to life creatively, while staying true to the original prowess of the tale.

The authors of these novels give years to the imagining of the characters and environments, and how they intertwine, and so the same standard should be held for the visual realisation.

Recently, something I've been wanting to do is play around with different styles, (as shown in my previous post). So I had fun trying out a new illustrative style with this current design.

Another question I asked myself was:

What makes the main character obvious or apparent in design?

I think this could be incredibly important for this project. The main character is typically the heart of these stories, allowing the audience to place themselves in the context of the story world and empathise with the scenarios.

 Therefore, the protagonist should stand out and be noticed by the audience.

So for the last couple of days I've been designing the main character Fundevogel, for an animation aimed at a young audience.

For the design I took inspiration from Rob Laro (Freelance Illustrator and Concept Artist), and Steve Pilcher (Pixar). I tried to take a bit from the style of both artists because I love the confident line-work and flowing shapes of Laro's designs, and I love the expression you find in Pilcher's work.

By being aware of these two styles while developing this character, I managed to create some really nice expressions in the early sketches, and an appealing, colourful design in his final render.

For the final character renders, I would like them to be all of the same illustrative style, so that they can be compared together in a lineup, and allow me to see how they contrast in terms of shape, scale, and colour.

Working Character Design sheet for "Fundevogel"

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Visual Style Experimentation.

One of the great resources for those of us who want to enter the Art Entertainment industry, are the "Art of" books compiled by the likes of Disney and Pixar, to video game companies such as Bioware.

These books give the reader a glimpse into all the different styles used by the artists, which are explored throughout the design process.

Art of Ratatouille

Art of Ratatouille

Personally, I find it fascinating seeing the natural quick design styles of the different artists slowly come together to finally coincide with one another.

I decided to paint a quick character line-up from "Fundevogel", and try and use a different style to see how the designs was influenced.

I actually really enjoyed trying a different style. This style was achieved by using the pencil tool in photoshop, while trying not to lift the pencil at all. 

Going to attempt a bunch of different styles and see where it leads me. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Fundevogel Progress Update.

Today, after I finished my previous post's experiment, I started painting for the "Fundevogel" adaptation tests once more.

Fundevogel's Mother is briefly mentioned at the beginning of the story, as she sleeps against the tree which contains Fundevogel.

In my head, the Fundevogal's Mother lived in the woods and travelled them often, so I designed her clothing around foliage, plants and trees.

Visuals from an Instrumental.

It is likely this won't benefit my final works; However, the task I decided to undergo today ended up being very interesting personally.

I had the idea to create a painting from an instrumental piece of music. I figured it would be a great way to be create something personal and truly subjective.

What I did was basically listen to the piece of music, and sort of just paint what came into my head as the song played. I didn't know what I would actually gain from doing this, but I figured I couldn't lose anything, either.

The piece is by an British Musician - Bonobo. And is entitled "Black Sands"

And I painted this: 

The song to me sounds completely separated from society and people as a whole. If hills could make music, I imagine it would sound like this song.

The song also strikes me as rather oriental, so the colour schemes and atmosphere became heavily influenced by that.

I feel the song also glows with promise and magic. It seems to create this by lulling into the song very slowly, building, and building, eventually delivering an over-whelming culmination of sounds.

Listen to the song and look at the painting, maybe even let me know what you think about it?


Friday, 4 January 2013

2013. Adaptation & Illustration warm-up begins.

Happy New Year all.

Have managed to maintain a steady work flow over the festive period, (Thankfully). However, the majority of work has not necessarily been created to support my honours project; Although some of it has.

I'm applying to DARE to be digital in the near future and so a chunk of time now has to be allocated to that also.

Obviously I won't be able to share any of the artwork for DARE yet. But I do have some new project work to reflect on.

Adaptation designs for story. 

Practice Based Research. 
Visual development of visuals for a short story. 


 “Fundevogel” by The Grimm Brothers. 

Focus Characters.
Fundevogel’s mother.
The two Children: Lina & Fundevogel.
The Old Cook.  
Forester’s House.

I quickly got to work sketching in PS. 

I didn't know what to do first, so instead of thinking about style or time setting or any of the details, I just quickly started doing some sketching of how I initially pictured the characters in my head while reading the story. 

I started with the forester. Because he is the first character the reader is introduced to, he helps you build your own picture of the world and perhaps affects how you imagine the other characters. 

The character I initially pictured as the forester was naturally, not that interesting, because, well, the only words you are given to imagine him in your imagination is "forester". So I quickly began varying the design of the forester, quickly, just for fun. 

initial forester design stage.
As you can see, the silhouettes are quite vague. I couldn't decide if the forester should be a nimble, agile explorer, or some sort of rooted type, Father Christmas-y, figure. 

I decided to take the nimble design a little bit further, because the story informs us that the forester can climb. It wouldn't look believable seeing an enormous, bulky character dotting up a tree, as if gravity didn't exist. 

...Or maybe gravity doesn't exist in this world? These are the kinds of fundamental questions I keep having to consider when piecing together these visuals. 

Anyway, it was the nimble design that was taken further to begin with. 

quick, (badly painted), forester next step.

However, I really lost interest in the piece as I was working on it. The design itself was incredibly boring  and non-original. 

So then I actually began to think about the importance behind the designs of the characters and how greatly they can be used to convey personality in an awesome way. I wanted to be working on one that would be symbolic, interesting, original, and appealing - not wasting time on a bland, badly thought-out piece. 

So I went back to the drawing board, and I'm still there.

I'm currently beginning to play with images of different trees, to influence the symbolism behind the characters' designs. 

"La Luna" (Pixar, 2011), does this in such a charming way, which really helped create some very memorable characters, despite only being less than 7 minutes long. 

La Luna (Pixar). Note the facial hair in relation to the brush and mop. 

So for example, this is the sort of thing I'm going to be doing with the designs. (I made this picture in literally 2 minutes, purely as an example). 

very rough example of using objects to influence design. 

So I shall hopefully have some interesting designs to update with in the coming few days.